Phoenix Suns CENTER Deandre Ayton (23) signed the so-called offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers worth $133 million over four years. That salary is now guaranteed for him, but that still doesn't mean he will become the Pacers' new basketball player because he was a restricted free agent.
So, Phoenix has the right to match the offer and keep him that way. Either way, Ayton signed the largest contract of its kind in NBA history. No one has yet offered $133 million for a restricted free agent - the previous record was held by the Brooklyn Nets, who paid $107 million for Otto Porter Jr.
in 2017, and the Washington Wizards tied it. The Suns are expected to match the offer Ayton's future in Phoenix has been uncertain for some time and there has been speculation all summer that the Suns could trade him. However, the most famous NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Phoenix has not negotiated with the Pacers regarding a possible trade for Ayton and that they will most likely match the offer and keep him.
The Suns must make a decision in the next 48 hours, and if they keep the center from the Bahamas, they cannot trade him to any club until January 15. In the same way, he should not be traded in Indiana for the whole year, and it should be noted that Ayton would have the right to veto any trade for a period of one year.
The Suns aren't known for being a high-spending organization, but team governor Robert Sarver stepped out of his comfort zone after a trip to the NBA Finals in 2021. Phoenix re-signed Chris Paul to a four-year deal worth up to $120 million in August.
Devin Booker previously signed a rookie max extension in 2018. The five-year, $158.2 million deal keeps him under contract to the Suns through the 2023-24 season. Mikal Bridges, who was selected in the same draft as Ayton, received a four-year, $90 million extension.
Ayton has come a long way since his rookie campaign in 2018-19. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft looked like a disappointment out of the gate despite posting a solid stat line with 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.